Pregnant women understand that a difficult delivery is not an uncommon occurrence. Although a difficult delivery will often result in increased pain to the mother, there are times when the action of a doctor or nurse can have severe impacts for a child.
One common type of birth injury involves damage to the nerves around a child's shoulders during delivery, which can cause two very serious arm paralysis conditions:
- Brachial plexus palsy: This condition is impacts movement in a child's upper arm.
- Klumpke's paralysis: This is a less common condition that impacts the child's lower arm and hand.
Both brachial plexus palsy and klumpke's paralysis are forms of neonatal brachial plexus palsy (NBPP). The majority of children suffering from NBPP will recover within a few months, according to U.S. National Library of Medicine. However, the children that do not recover by nine months may have a separation of the shoulder nerve root and spinal cord, also known as avulsion.
Children with NBPP may suffer from abnormal muscle contraction, arm weakness and arm paralysis. This may decrease a child's quality of life and result in increased medical costs that parents may have to cover.
Legal options for NBPP parents
Parents have several options when NBPP is caused by the negligence of a medical professional. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can assess the circumstances of a child's delivery and explain the legal remedies available to compensate your child for their injury and its associated costs.
A medical malpractice lawsuit is a common type of remedy for parents whose children have suffered birth injuries. Medical malpractice cases are often time-consuming and expensive to undertake, although there are some law firms that will shoulder the cost of a medical malpractice action in return for a portion of the legal settlement or verdict. This expands the range of individuals who have access to the legal system and allows more parents to hold negligent medical professionals accountable.